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Support Explodes in Colorado;

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HAY MAKER

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October 28, 2005

Member Contact: Natasha Bentz, National Field Coordinator
Phone: 406-252-2516; e-mail: [email protected]


Media Contact: Shae Dodson, Communications Coordinator
Phone: 406-672-8969; e-mail: [email protected] For Immediate Release


Support Explodes in Colorado;

President and Co-Founder in Brush Nov. 19



(Brush, Colo.) – Among cattle-producing states that support R-CALF USA, Colorado is doing its fair share and plans to do more.



On Nov. 19, the Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association (CICA) will host the first of a series of cattlemen’s meetings at the Morgan County Fairgrounds in Brush, Colo. R-CALF USA President and Co-Founder Leo McDonnell is the featured speaker. McDonnell’s appearance is the second time in less than a year that R-CALF USA board members or staff have traveled to Brush.


In February, Colorado cattle growers gathered at High Plains Livestock Exchange for an R-CALF USA benefit auction that raised $30,000. Organized by Fort Morgan ranchers Don Carmin and John Glenn, as well as Washington County rancher Gerald Schreiber, the event exceeded their goals. Tim Stutzman, owner of High Plains Livestock Exchange, graciously hosted the event at his sale barn.


“The February sale was a terrific success,” noted Schreiber. “A lot of work was done by the Morgan and Washington counties cattlemen’s associations to host this event, and we’re very proud of the job done. As cattle producers, we want to do our part to support R-CALF.”



“We just see that R-CALF is working hard on behalf of U.S. cattle producers, and they’re the only organization out there looking out for our interests,” said Stutzman.



Adams County rancher Joe Durben donated the Beefmaster calf that sold more than 40 times during the rollover sale, during which 56 donors made contributions. Top bidders at $2,500 apiece were Don and Bev Carmin and John Glenn (Glenn Cattle Co.). K & K Cattle Co., of Akron, bid $1,500. Harold Long, of Greeley, bid $1,100, while Rick Montera, of Eaton, and Harry Meyer, of Johnstown, both bid $1,100.


The funds raised were donated to the R-CALF USA litigation fund for its court battle with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) over the agency’s efforts to reduce U.S. health and safety import standards to resume beef and cattle trade with Canada.


Just one month later, another R-CALF USA benefit auction was held in Cortez that raised $11,000 for the organization’s coffers.


And on June 5, Colorado cattle growers gathered at the Muddy Valley Ranch between LaJunta and Kim to form the Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association (CICA). The first action taken by the CICA board of directors was to officially affiliate with R-CALF USA.



“CICA was formed right here in my yard,” said Kimmi Lewis, who runs the Muddy Valley Ranch and serves as secretary of CICA. “We are cow/calf producers who have known that a change was needed many years ago. We are also very proud people who have supported R-CALF since the early stages of their growth.”



Other CICA officers include: Doug Zalesky, PhD, of Hesperus, president; John Reid, of Ordway, vice president; and Rayford Vick, of Hugo, treasurer. CICA has rapidly become Colorado’s fastest growing cattlemen’s organization, with memberships pouring in from all corners of the state.



“R-CALF is the only voice for independent U.S. cattlemen,” said Schreiber. “Win or lose, we know that R-CALF is looking after our interests when it comes to market and trade issues. If that takes litigation, then so be it. We’re ready to support the effort.”



Schreiber serves on the CICA board of directors representing producers in District Two.


“There’s a deep nerve of discontent out there amongst cattle producers about the lack of representation on a state and national level,” noted Schreiber. “R-CALF has tapped that vein on a national level, and now CICA is doing so within the state. It’s really not difficult to understand why cattlemen are flocking to alternative organizations.



“We want, and deserve, solid leadership on the issues,” he continued. “Cattlemen no longer want to support organizations that consistently oppose them on critical issues like Mandatory Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL), unfair and harmful trade agreements like the Central American Free Trade Agreement, and competition issues.”



The CICA-hosted event on Nov. 19 begins at 6 p.m. MST in the 4-H Building on the Morgan County Fairgrounds in Brush. Dinner will be served. Cost for the meal is $10 per plate.


Schreiber said he expects a standing-room only crowd.



“We look forward to hosting Leo McDonnell here in Colorado, and we will be encouraging producers to join R-CALF and CICA,” he said. “I think we can safely expect a thorough discussion of the issues, and I encourage everyone to attend. The CICA board fully intends to hold more of these informational meetings on a statewide basis, and without a doubt, there will be more R-CALF fund-raising auctions held.”



For more information about the Nov. 19 event, call Schreiber at 970-386-2247.



# # #



R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) represents thousands of U.S. cattle producers on domestic and international trade and marketing issues. R-CALF USA, a national, non-profit organization, is dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. R-CALF USA’s membership consists primarily of cow-calf operators, cattle backgrounders, and feedlot owners. Its members – over 18,000 strong – are located in 47 states, and the organization has over 60 local and state association affiliates, from both cattle and farm organizations. Various main street businesses are associate members of R-CALF USA. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.
 

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